Sheep and (intensive) rotational grazing.

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Beekissed, Mar 16, 2009.

  1. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    Anyone do it and would like to share your experience? What breeds do you have? How large are your paddocks, generally? Are you using temporary fencing for this inside of a larger perimeter fence? How big would a day's paddock have to be in peak grass for 2-3 sheep?

    Also would like to know if anyone grazes pigs on pasture? [​IMG]
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2009
  2. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    No one at all? [​IMG]
  3. I do rotational grazing with my sheep (Shetland and White Dorper) and goats. I have one pasture section that my dad and I fenced with woven wire fence many years ago. The original plan was to subdivide into eight equal sections but right now it's only about three, some of the fences I took down, others are falling down.

    For the past few years I have been using Electronet and Electrostop netting from Premier One and am very pleased with it, and am going with that method rather than try to install more woven wire (or repair what's already there.) Paddock size is variable, usually a square/rectangle enclosed by 2-4 rolls of netting (one roll is 160 ft. long).

    When I first started with sheep and only had a few, I used a portable pen out of stock panels, 16 feet square, and moved it once or twice a day. Have used it since with small groups. It's a good (and cheap) way to rotationally graze a mini-herd of sheep, and worked great with ewes and lambs. Rams tended to push the panels around and I don't have the energy to pound in T-posts every day to hold the panels in place, also goats tend to learn to move the fence around before too long, so that's why I prefer the electronet.

    Paddock size is so variable, you may have one area where the grass is a bit sparser and so the paddock will need to be bigger than in other areas, plus as you improve the soil conditions will change, you will have to learn to be able to tell from the condition of the grass before and after grazing sessions.
  4. Goattalker

    Goattalker Songster

    Mar 19, 2009
    I do 6 weeks on, and 6 weeks ore more off. When the goats are off a pasture the horse is on it.
  5. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    Nissa, on good graze, how many sheep would you place in an approx. 20 ft. x 50 ft. paddock (the size of my (planned) average paddock)? I am using electric wire and temp fencing also and plan to rotate daily or every other day, depending on the rate of feeding/grass available. (Ala Joel Salatin style, with the back fencing, etc.)

    I know its something you just have to play with but I'm wondering if I'll have enough sheep at first, and then too many when I'm finishing off weanlings for the size of paddocks I want to try. Of course, this is the beauty of using electric single or double strand, the ease of adjusting the size of each paddock.

    I know you are supposed to mob them a little and I will try to do it more so when I get the hang of it all, but was just wondering a few things.

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